Due to the societal significance of the mass media for the development of Danish culture and political debate in Denmark, regulation of radio and television activity is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture. Furthermore aid is given to the printed and digital commercial media. Media policy is thus regarded as an integral part of Danish cultural policy.
Public service is a cornerstone in Danish media regulation and by law it provides a versatile and balanced range of programmes and services for all sections of the population. Public service activity in Denmark is to ensure that the Danish population has a wide choice of programmes and services via television, radio, the internet or the like.
Public service activity is performed by different actors such as DR, TV 2/DANMARK A/S, the regional TV 2 stations and Radio 24/7.
The Radio and Television Broadcasting Act
The content of radio and television programmes is regulated by the Radio and Television Broadcasting Act. The Act contains rules concerning the right to provide radio and television services in Denmark, provisions on inter alia the public service activities of DR, TV 2/DANMARK A/S and the regional TV 2 stations, rules about organisational and financial matters concerning DR and the regional TV 2 stations, rules about the Radio and Television Board, rules about advertising and sponsoring on radio and television, rules regarding licences etc.
In recent years the basis for legislation in the area of radio and television has been political agreements between the government and one or more parties in the Folketing (Danish parliament), normally for a period of four years.
Aid to printed and digital media
The law on media support concerns production and innovation aid for printed and digital media. Production aid is granted to news media production of editorial content. The aid scheme consists of a main and supplementary scheme as well as a three-year transition fund for media that obtain less in total aid from the production aid scheme than under the previous distribution of aid scheme. Innovation aid is granted for projects or feasibility studies concerning the establishment of new or development of existing media.
In addition, aid will be provided from the ”Magazine Fund” to distribution of certain periodic journals and periodicals, mainly union magazines whose content is non-profit or of humanitarian nature or about culture, education, sports, environment and religion.
The Agency for Culture and Palaces is an agency under the Ministry of Culture. One of the objectives of this agency is to contribute to safeguarding the quality, versatility and diversity of the electronic media. The agency is the secretariat of the Radio and Television Board.
The Radio and Television Board is an independent authority that makes decisions etc. in the field of radio and television. Among the tasks of the Board are administering the pool from which grants can be awarded to local radio and television, issuing licenses to perform radio and television activity, pronouncing on whether radio and television companies are fulfilling their public service obligations, and making decisions concerning advertising and sponsorship of programmes.
DR is the biggest provider of public service in the Danish media market. DR is organised as an independent public institution that is fully licence-financed.
TV 2/DANMARK A/S is a limited company 100% owned by the Danish state. The primary purpose of the company is to carry on public service business.
The regional TV 2 stations are eight autonomous stations each of which broadcasts regional public service from its part of the country. Like DR, these stations are fully licence-financed.
Read more about the regional TV 2 stations at their respective websites: